By now you should know the drill. The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America sends up some samples from their latest Outturn, and we divide them up and review them. Our last Outturn sample pack included the following:
- Cask No. 3.184 aka “Arabesques of ash and high kicks of coal”
- Cask No. 48.26 aka “In a wild garden, late summer”
- Cask No. 125.51 aka “Perfumed sweetness and zesty fruits”
- Cask No. G9.1 aka “Sweet and sour mélange”
Limpd and I divided them up equally and he will review his selections in an upcoming post.
Let’s get down to business…
- Appearance: Straw colored.
- Aroma: Very very interesting nose on this one! Surprisingly fresh smelling and vibrant for a 15 year old whisky. At full strength I’m getting a really strong Tequila scent, but with a subtle peat smoke backbone. After that, there’s sea spray, smoldering coal, fennel, and a hint of Wint O Green Lifesavers. Water amplifies the herbal notes a bit, i.e. the fennel and Wint O Green Lifesavers.
- Taste: That first sip brings an explosion of white pepper backed peat smoke to the front half of your tongue. At mid palate, a bit of cinnamon heat and vanilla sweetness comes through. Is there such a thing as smoked nougat? The long, lingering finish is bold and smoky with those herbal and maritime flavors shining through. Adding a good bit of water definitely tones down the heat, allowing the smoky spiciness to balance each other out from start to finish rather than the amusement park ride that you experience at full strength.
- Age: 15 Years
- Cask: Refill hogshead
- ABV: 61.0%
Conclusion: Per whiskyportal.com, this cask is from the Bowmore Distillery which is located on Islay. I think this might only be the second Bowmore that I’ve ever had, and to be perfectly honest, I can’t say that I remember the first one all that well since it’s been at least three years since I had it, but if they are all as intense and flavorful as this one, then I will most definitely be on the lookout to try more. This particular expression was oh so playful with a lovely balance of smoke/herbs/spices/sweetness. It kept me engaged from start to finish and definitely left me wanting more. In a word: DELICIOUS!
- Appearance: Pale gold color.
- Aroma: Very sweet at the onset with powered sugar, kettle corn, and vanilla notes. There are also some licorice and menthol undertones in the background. With a splash of water, there are some subtle citrus notes as well.
- Taste: Very sharp and biting in the beginning with lots of white pepper heat concentrated on the tip of my tongue. Creamed corn sweetness sets in at mid palate with the white pepper heat fading a bit, but never letting go completely. Ends with a peppery/vanilla finish that lingers for around a minute. Water brings out a subtle citrus flavor,i.e. a tiny bit lemony.
- Age: 11 Years
- Cask: Refill barrel
- ABV: 57.8%
Conclusion: Per whiskyportal.com, this cask is from the Loch Lomond Distillery which is located in the Highland Region of Scotland. Loch Lomond produces both grain and malt whisky. As far as this particular cask goes, I found it to be quite enjoyable, but not something that I would go out of my way for. It was a bit too straightforward for my taste. On the other hand, I can see having a bottle of this around to do a bit of my own blending since I am really curious to see how well I would do at it.
Thanks again to Gabby Shayne (click here to meet The Whisky Sisters) of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America for sending us these samples.